Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Your Photo ID, Please

While checking to see whether anyone had been discussing what I perceived to be Osama bin Laden's actual message in that October 29 videotape broadcast, I came across an almost amusing example of the incorrect wing's view of voting fraud.

Larry King and Walter Cronkite discussed the Osama bin Laden videotape, but only from the aspect of its probable effect on our November 2 election.

Their brief discussion of voter turnout was what caught my attention.

Consider how often we are asked to provide valid personal identification--typically an ID card with a photograph on it showing to whom the card belongs. Do you want a store to accept a personal check? Photo ID, please. Do you want to board a commercial airliner? Photo ID, please.

Almost anytime we are engaged in what we consider to be serious business--when the identity of someone is thought to be important--we expect to be asked to prove our identity.

Voting seems not to be taken seriously by many people on the wrong wing of the political spectrum, since they consider attempts at voter identification to be voter intimidation.

Here's what Walter Cronkite said about voter turnout on the "Larry King Live" show, aired by CNN on October 29, 2004:

KING: Do you expect a huge turnout?


KING: A huge turnout?

CRONKITE: Oh, yes, I do. I think so. The only thing that could damage the turnout would be the threats that might be implied, as many of the new registrees are challenged as to their various things. Their spelling of their name and the state where they really come from, whether they're immigrants or not, do they have passports, all that kind of thing. If they are challenged at the polls, as they line up to go into the polls, they may fear having to answer all those questions. Particularly if they do have anything wrong about them and shouldn't vote. [Emphasis added.]

Imagine that. People who shouldn't vote--because they have no lawful right to vote--might be intimidated by the prospect of being challenged at the polls on November 2.

And, notice that Mr. Cronkite seems not to recognize that preventing voting fraud--including voting by people who have no right to vote--is the correct thing to do. Instead, he sees such efforts as "threats" which "could damage the turnout."

I wonder: Do all members of the sinister wing of the American political spectrum believe that voting is an activity which should not involve proof of identity by the voters?

Does the left believe that people who aren't citizens of the U.S. should be allowed to vote in our elections?

Should we simply look to see whether the ones standing in line to enter the voting booths appear to be members of the human species?

Should we let everyone vote early and often--and in as many places as they wish--so that the side whose members have more quickness and stamina wins the election?

Perhaps that's the left's view: Election outcomes are to be determined by a kind of Social Darwinism in which the ability of one side to cast more ballots in the allotted time is the thing that determines fitness to govern.

It would be an ironic counterpart to the totalitarian left's "one man, one vote, one time."

Instead, we would all behave like children at a popular amusement park ride. Once you have cast your ballot, run back to the end of the line and wait your turn to cast another ballot. Keep repeating that process until either you are too exhausted to continue or the polls close.

Nothing would be allowed to slow down the frenetic pace--especially not that niggling request, "your photo ID, please."


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